How can the Bible help us overcome life’s problems?

We often become discouraged and bogged down with life’s cares. The fact that both the Old and New Testaments address this problem the same way indicates that God knows problems and worries are inevitable in this life. Thankfully, He has given us the same solution in both the Old and New Testaments:

“Cast your burden on the LORD and He Shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22

“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Contained within these two verses are some amazing truths:

· God will sustain us

· He will never let us fall

· He cares for us

Taken one at a time, we see first that God declares both His ability and His willingness to be our strength and support—mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He is able (and best of all, willing!) to take everything that threatens to overwhelm us and use it for our benefit. He has promised to “work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Even at times when we doubt Him, He is still working for our good and His glory. And He has also promised that He will allow no trial to be so great we cannot bear it and that He will provide a means of escape “God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you will be able to bear it” 1 Corinthians 10:1). By this, He means that He will not let us fall, as He promised (Psalm 55:22).

The third statement—“He cares for you”—gives us the motivation behind His other promises. Our God is not cold or unfeeling. Rather, He is our loving Heavenly Father whose heart is tender toward His children. Jesus reminds us that just as an earthly father would not deny his children bread, so God has promised to give us good gifts when we ask Him, (Matthew 7:7-11).

God reveals to us through His Word, the Bible that we can be of good “cheer,” that we can rejoice in our problems because God will use them to our benefit. “Knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” Romans 5:3-4. We can see our “worries” as an opportunity to practice. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

So, each day, taking one step at a time, we should pray for God’s Word to guide us, read or listen to God’s Word, and meditate on God’s Word when the problems, worries, and anxieties of life come along. The secret to giving things over to God is really no secret at all—it’s simply asking Him and Jesus to take our burdens “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Matthew 11:28

God loves us so much that He sent His son “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16

God is bigger than any of our problems.

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God’s love letter to us

Consider these five ‘Valentines’ from God’s Word:

“My love for you is faithful.”

“Know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.”

Deuteronomy 7v 9

“My love for you is forever.”

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, because He is good;

His mercy endures forever.

Oh give thanks to the God of all gods;

His mercy endures forever.

Oh give thanks to the Lord of all lords;

His mercy endures forever.”

Psalm 136 v 1-3

“Nothing can stop us from loving God.”

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come.

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”

Romans 8 v 38-39

“My love for you is greater than you could ever imagine.”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

John 3 v 16-17

“I want you to share my love with others.”

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all know that you are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

John 13 v 34-35

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day with those you love, let us take time to reflect on God’s enduring love for all, and ask ourselves how we might give God’s love to others in return.

All quotations from New King James Bible.

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How will you use your time?

As humans we are confined by time, hours, days, seasons and years. Do we really appreciate that is God that has given us time?

“Then God said “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide day from night: and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years” Genesis 1 v 14

God created these on the fourth day, so that they were in place before He created man on the sixth day. The earth has been governed by time from the very beginning.

We wake each morning to a new day and many of us rush around looking at the clock to see how time is going.

We live in a society today that is becoming more aware of Wellbeing and making time for ourselves. One aspect of this is relaxing and meditation, to help with pressures of this life that lead to anxieties. 

Relaxing and meditation may help us for a little while but wouldn’t it be great if we could find something that can help us all the time.

Well we can, by taking time out to read (or listen to) God’s word the Bible we can learn that He has a plan for this world when all people will live in peace.

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb…..and a little child shall lead them……..They shall not hurt or destroy……..For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea”. Isaiah 11 v 6 – 9

“There shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”. Revelation 21 v 4

We can all called to have an opportunity to be part of this kingdom of God’s on earth.

Jesus God’s son said “Come unto Me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11 v 28

As we begin another year, let us try to learn more about God’s purpose with the earth by using some of our time to learn more about Him.

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Can we save the planet?

At the moment there are over 100 world leaders attending the COP26 conference in Glasgow discussing climate change, they hope to agree on a plan of action that could save the planet from the effects of global warming. If nothing is done, some scientists predict that there will be an average rise in world temperature of between 2 and 5 degrees over the next 60 years. Why is this so significant? 

The world used to be finely balanced, rather like a greenhouse, which has a controlled temperature, and its atmosphere is regulated by the amount of water its plants receives. But the atmosphere around our planet (which is there to protect us) is now letting in certain types of harmful rays. The oil-based products (fossil fuels), which we have been burning for about 200 years, have created a sort of additional shield which has the effect of reflecting heat back down upon us. De-forestation is also having an effect upon our planet. All of this has changed, and is changing the natural cycle of our rainfall and our seasons, the sea and wind currents. Hot weather in some instances recently, has been very extreme and has caused massive damage and loss of life. The extra heat, is also causing the melting of polar ice, sending a deluge of fresh water into the sea which is changing salt concentrations, which in turn affects all sea life. 

Some have speculated that by 2050 many parts of the planet may not be able to sustain life. Fresh water supply is the critical element. Water has no substitutes. There is no industrial process, to make water or desalination of sea water fast enough, to satisfy demands. Water is going to be scarce. People in Africa and Asia already know all about this. So, what’s to be done? Is there a solution? 

Humanly speaking the outlook is bleak, but when God created the world, He said in Genesis chapter 1 that everything was “very good”. He designed our planet to be capable of sustaining life in perfect balance, and has promised a restoration to this state again when His Kingdom is established on the earth.

“For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other” Isaiah chapter 45 verse 18. 

“For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 14, “… You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those that fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation chapter 11 verse 18. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” Matthew chapter 5 verse 5.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with a fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will burn up …

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” 2 Peter chapter 3 verses 10, 13. 

God is going to create new heavens and a new earth, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” Isaiah chapter 65 verse 17”.

These promises were written over 2000 years ago and they predict a future which gives us hope for a complete reversal of today’s scientific predictions. God intends the earth to be an everlasting habitation for mankind and has a plan for its restoration and recovery, both physically and morally. 

God’s plan for the earth should fill us with hope instead of doom and gloom. He wants us to have a part in His Kingdom and He tells us how we can do so and how we are to prepare ourselves for it, in His Word, The Bible.  

Quotations taken from the New King James Bible  

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The World we live in

At this time of year we see great changes as a new season, Autumn comes in. Have you ever considered the world we live in and this on a larger scale?

There are such lush green lands yet there are vast barren deserts.

There are peaceful countries, yet there are countries at war and conflict.

There are extremely wealthy countries, yet there are extremely poor countries.

There are people with great wealth, yet there are people with nothing. The list could go on.

We may be moved by the sight of captivating scenery, a beautiful garden or a starlit sky. On the contrary, we might feel disgust and anger at the sight of a litter-filled street, a land-scape blighted by industrial waste, or the prospect of increasing damage to our environment by global warming.

Our sense of injustice might have been aroused by the thought of the wealth enjoyed by a few in comparison to the desperate poverty suffered by millions in the world.

Occasionally we hear of the selfless love shown by people who work with the sick, the under privileged and the deprived.

Although unfortunately, we hear far more about the bad things around us, the greed, crime, violence, wars, terrorism and corruption.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world of peace and equality for all, where everyone could live securely, where our bodies wouldn’t be subject to frailty and death.

I am sure you will agree that a world like that would wonderful. Well, all these good things have already been promised by Almighty God, they will one day be a reality on the earth.

In God’s Word, the Bible, we have a wonderful picture of what this world will be like when Jesus – God’s son, reigns as king, the world will become a place of beauty.

“…….. the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly…….. the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert………The parched ground shall become a pool, And the thirsty land springs of water”. Isaiah 35 v 1-2,6-7

“Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree”. Isaiah 55 v 13.

We can live forever in this world, it has been offered to us by God. He doesn’t want us to die, He wants us to be part of that world and serve Him.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,…..but it long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” 2 Peter 3v9

The choice is up to us, but we need to make it before it is too late because Jesus will.

“… This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven”. Acts 1 v11

All quotations take from the New King James Bible

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What does the future hold?

A recent report from a group of scientists says that by 2045 life will not be worth living on this earth. Exaggeration you may think, but just consider what is happening to our planet in 2021.

FLOODS causing landslides, buildings being swept, many deaths and acres of valuable agricultural land under water.

WILD FIRES destroying people’s homes, vast areas of forest and woodland destroyed.

GLOBAL WARMING some of the highest ever temperatures have been recorded this year.

EARTHQUAKES destroying buildings, killing so many.

COVID 19 causing much stress and inconvenience, also grief and distress of losing loved ones.

The list could go on!

All these are causing so much anxiety that lots more people are suffering from mental issues.

Jesus told His disciples that there would be a terrible time to come for them “….when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that it’s desolation is near……and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled” Luke 21 v 21-24

Jesus was telling them about events that would happen about 40 years later in AD70. This did happen and Jews were scattered throughout the world until 1948. Which is when Israel become a State once again and many Jews returned there, but it took another 72 years before Jerusalem become its capital!

Jesus went on to tell them what would happen before His return to earth

“…on earth distress of nations, with perplexity……men’s hearts failing them for fear and the expectation of those things that are coming on the earth……Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” Luke 21 v 25-27

The things that have been and are happening in the earth tell us that Jesus is soon to return and will set God’s Kingdom on earth and will be the Judge of the whole earth. “He (Jesus) shall judge between the peoples. And rebuke strong nations afar off……Nation shall not lift sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore” Micah 4v3

This Kingdom is described for us in Psalm 72 and Isaiah chapter 35, it will be a wonder place where there will be an abundance of food, no more illness and all creatures dwelling peacefully together.

Not just a small part of the earth but the whole earth will be a wonderful place of plenty, joy and peace with no more diseases and death.

The distressing events we see in the world today, are showing us that God is in control and that His Son will soon come back.

Find out how you can be part of that Kingdom and what we believe. https://www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk/about.php

All quotations taken from the New King James Bible.

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The Potter

Today we take so much for granted. Take for example a cup or mug for drinking tea or coffee from. We take it out of the cupboard without giving a thought as to how it was made.

In the Bible we see God using the theme of earthen vessels made by the potter as a way of teaching us about the relationship between the Him our Creator and His Creation.

These days few potters prepare their own clay, but in times past they had to dig the clay and then prepare it, which consisted of mixing it with water until it was of a consistency that could be shaped on a wheel. It had to be completely smooth and flexible, not too dry or too wet and free of stones and gravel.

Jeremiah writes: “I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was making something at the wheel” 18 v 3. It was a familiar sight in those days as all pots were made by hand. If you have ever tried your hand at making a pot on a wheel, you will know that what looks easy in the hands of a skilled potter, can be hard in the hands of a novice.

Jeremiah describes for us the potter at his work: first of all suitable clay is needed, then its prepared. In the potter’s skilled hands the vessel slowly takes shape—or maybe it is spoiled so that the work has to begin again, until the lump of clay is gradually formed into a vessel for use or for beauty.

Jesus referred to of one of his disciples as a “vessel”, when speaking to his faithful disciple Ananias about the persecutor Saul, he said: “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” Acts 9 v 15.

Later, Saul, (whose name was changed to Paul), when writing to Timothy, uses the same figure of speech: “If anyone cleanses himself . . . . he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” 2 Timothy 2 v 21. Also when Paul wrote to the church at Corinth he said: “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” 2 Corinthians 4 v 7.

One righteous man Job, was also aware of his origin, when he said to God: “Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay. And will You turn me into dust again?” Job 10 v 9.

Another man Isaiah wrote: “But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand” Isaiah 64 v 8.

God is teaching us that He is the Potter and we are the clay. For clay to be worked into a vessel it needs water. As the potter turns the wheel and shapes the clay with his hands, he constantly dips his fingers in water adding a little to the clay, without the water the clay cannot be shaped.

God teaches us, that He wants us to be vessels suitable for His purpose. He has provided the way we can achieve this by giving us the Bible, which is full of His words they are a fountain of living water, made freely available to us. We are told this in book of Isaiah: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters. And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat” Isaiah 55 v 1.

Are we allowing God to carry out His purpose by availing ourselves of His provision? He has done His part, are we doing ours?

If we don’t we are told in the book of Jeremiah what will happen, “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the LORD, The fountain of living waters.” Jeremiah 17 v 13.

All quotations are from the New King James Bible.

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Biblical Reminders

After a year when our lives have been full of restrictions and rules on how we live, it’s understandable that many of us may be feeling anxious about what the future holds.

We might be finding it difficult to move forward with our lives, after such a long time of being told only to travel short distances, which has meant some of us have had to stay in one place for a long time.

We may find ourselves getting anxious over simple things such as shopping or meeting friends.

There are many verses in the Bible which can help us through these times, here are just a few.

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“There are many plans in a man’s heart. Nevertheless the LORD’S counsel-that will stand.”

Proverbs 19:21

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

Psalm 32:8

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts. Nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are My ways higher than your ways. And My thoughts than your thoughts”

Isaiah 55:8-9

When we have faith in God and His plan and purpose, not just for the earth but for us as individuals, we have nothing to worry about. 

“Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Quotations taken from the New King James Bible

Find out more about what we believe and how you too can share in our hope. https://www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk/about.php

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Take me to The Beach

With foreign holidays looking more and more unlikely this year. I think about how fortunate we are in this country to have so many wonderful places to visit. For me, the first place I venture is The Beach!

There is always a moment, as I smell the salty air, hear the waves crashing on the shore and my toes first feel the warmth of the sand, that I feel closer to God than at any other time. This for me is a moment of calm, I feel at peace as I breathe in the fresh sea air.

The sea although beautiful to look at has a whole world under the waves, a perfect balance and order, where oceans work together in such harmony needing no human intervention.

“You alone are the Lord,

You have made heaven,

The heaven of heavens, with all their host,

The earth and everything on it,

The seas and all this is in them.

And You preserve them all” Nehemiah 9 v 6

If God has this kind of love and care over the creatures of this world, how much more love does He have for each one of us?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3 v 16

How blessed we are to have a God who taught us love, He reminds us and strengthens us by allowing us to view His incredible creation.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power.” Romans 1 v 20

So next time you visit the beach, take a moment to pause and consider that great love of God. To be thankful that He is watching over us and pray that we all will soon feel that peace in His great Kingdom that is to come.

All quotes from NKJV

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Be strong and of good courage

We are all afraid at times, it is a fact of human experience. But we should not to be ashamed when it occurs, because we all have fears, worries, concerns, which change as we pass through life. Some of our fears are “private”, known only to oneself, and some are evident for all to see.

As children we might fear the dark; being left alone by our parents; not being liked by other children; and a multitude of other small problems which appear as enormous in a child’s mind.

As we grow up there is the typical fear of not succeeding at school, and of having to “stand up and be counted” when we are resolved to stand against the permissiveness and evil of our present world.

Husbands, have particular worries concerning making a success of their work and looking after their children. Wives, might be concerned about family problems, and both partners might well be concerned about their children, their education, their friends, and the influence the present evil age might have upon them.

The older we are, the more we fear increasing ill-health, the pain and suffering, trials and loneliness, or loss of independence, that might come with increasing age.

But God, who knows our weaknesses, gives us reassurance, if we align our lives with His, and seek to do His will, instead of being on our own, He says “… I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews:13v5

Jesus was once asked by his disciples to forecast the events that would lead up to his return to the earth from heaven.

He foretold precisely what has happened in the intervening years since then, wars, famines, earthquakes and illnesses, would increase as things got progressively worse, ultimately Jesus said people would be terrified for the future.

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke:21v25-28

How well those words describe the days in which we now live, giving assurance to Bible Students that Jesus’ return cannot be far away.

But notice also, how these two things are brought together in the passage above:

1. When people in general are distressed by the things that are coming, when they say among themselves “Whatever next?”

2. the believer need have no fear for the future.

Because, the believer who has prepared his or her life for what is coming next – the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth – knows that Christ is coming to redeem and rescue those who are his, and to reward them with righteousness and immortality for faithful service, and an abiding place in God’s Kingdom that Jesus is to establish upon the earth.

No wonder then that Jesus bids them, “Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

So when Jesus tells his faithful servants to, “Be not afraid” he gives them a positive message as well, to be firm and resolute in his service, because  whether they are alive or dead at his return, they are all assured of a reward for faithful service, as the words of 1 Thessalonians tell us, and they were to be comforted and edified by these words.

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words …
For God did not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians4:15-18; 5:9-11.

Quotations from The New King James Bible

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